Every driver at some point or the other has experienced a lack of braking on their vehicle; either the vehicle takes long to stop or in unfortunate situations doesn’t stop at all. Part of this experience depends on your car tyres and one part on the brakes. As important it is to have good tyres, it is equally important to make sure your car brakes are in optimal condition. But how do you know that you car brakes are wearing out and that it’s time to replace them? The most sure shot way of doing this of course is to remove the tyres and check the brakes manually, but it isn’t feasible to do this everytime.
Before wearing out, most parts of your vehicle exhibit symptoms that indicate their lack of functioning. Similarly, brakes show signs of wear too. If you’re an alert driver you’ll notice them, but incase you haven’t all this while, the below mentioned signs will help you know if it’s time to change your car brakes or not. Here we go.
1.The car pulls to one side when the brakes are applied
Have you noticed your car pulling to one side when the brakes are applied? If yes, then this indicates that the brakes pads are worn out unevenly and need to be changed. If your car is pulling to right when the brakes are applied, that means you need to change the brake pads of the front right tyre and vice versa.
2.The brakes make a screeching noise
Ever noticed a sharp screeching noise each time you’ve braked that has made other commuters also notice you? This is a clear sign that your car brake pads need replacing. Sometimes when the car is driven in water there tends to be a layer of moisture that accumulates on the brake pads and the brake rotor leading to rust. In such a scenario when the driver hits the brakes this rust leads to a screeching noise, but once the rust wears off, the unpleasant sound stops. But this is a one-off thing and usually occurs in monsoons. But if you hear the screeching noise each time you brake, then make sure to get the brakes pads checked.
Like most mechanical parts even brake pads wear out and need changing. There is no standard rule that says you need to change the brake pads after certain kilometers, it depends on the person’s driving style, rather braking style. You can check the brake pads through the spokes of your car wheel – the brake pad is visible as the material pressed against the metal rotor. If it appears to be less than 1/4th inch thick, it means it’s time to get them changed. In case you cannot see the pads through the spokes of your car wheel, then it is best to remove the wheel and check the brake pads.
Do you notice vibrations through the brake pedal when you apply brakes? If yes, then it may be time for you to get the brake pads checked. This phenomenon is also called as pulsating brakes where the driver gets a pulsating or a grabbing feel while braking. This is mainly caused due to worn our brake pads or pads that are warped due to heat caused by high stress driving conditions. In case of pulsating brakes the brakes pads are re-machined and if this does not work, then they have to be replaced by new pads.
The other indication to check your brakes is when they go mushy i.e. when the brake pedal touches the car floor before engaging. This can be a sign of worn out brake pads or a failed braking hydraulic system. It could also be caused by a leaking brake fluid or an air leak. The other scenario is when the brakes engage at the slightest touch. This can be caused by contaminated brake fluid or by a worn out rotor. If it’s the fluid, then a simple brake fluid change will solve the matter and in case of the latter a change in the rotor will fix the problem.
Hope these indication help you understand if you car brakes need changing or not.